You know you have a serious problem when your high school guidance counselor suggests you quit school. But that is exactly what happened to Jay Leno. Born with dyslexia, he was so far behind the other students by high school that it appeared he would never graduate. But unlike many, Leno was unphased by the attack on his self-worth and proceeded to graduate anyway.
I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good. Maybe you’re not the best, so you should work a little harder.
Today he credits his dyslexia, and his mother’s reaction to it, with his success in life.
When I was a kid growing up … I had dyslexia. My mother told me that I would always have to work twice as hard as the other kids just to get the same grades. It’s the same now. I’m not better than anybody else doing this job; I just think maybe I work harder than some.
Just as he used humor to deflect some of the teasing he experienced in the classroom, he encourages people of all walks of life, from presidents to plumbers, to enjoy a good joke together and to take life a little less seriously. After all, he reminds us
You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.